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Cory Bernardi attacks public service pay rises in the Senate

Date

Phillip Thomson

Senator Cory Bernardi.

Senator Cory Bernardi. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Cory Bernardi has taken aim at pay increases given to federal bureaucrats during enterprise agreements.

The Liberal senator said pay increases awarded in the past had easily outstripped inflation and called the Australian Services Union's tax official, Jeff Lapidos, a dinosaur.

"In the last decade, annual increments in the median Australian Public Service wage totalled 42 per cent, compared to movements in the CPI which totalled only 28 per cent," Mr Bernardi said quoting the 2013 APS remuneration report.

"In other words, over the last decade the average public service wage outstripped inflation by 14 per cent and outstripped increments in the private sector by 6 per cent."

On Wednesday the senator criticised Mr Lapidos' threat of industrial action if Australian Taxation Office staff were forced to work another nine minutes a day. Mr Lapidos represents a number of employees at the ATO alongside other staff represented by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU)and more than 20 individual bargaining representatives.  

"What a dinosaur this man is," Mr Bernardi said in the Senate.  

"Surely the time has come when unions and management can try to negotiate win-win situations.

"With the country so deep in debt and deficit thanks to the Labor Party, clearly Mr Lapidos and the ASU and the CPSU need to get some perspective.

"They need to be relevant and they need to be reasonable, and by doing so they will protect the jobs of all of their members."

Mr Bernardi said an extra nine minutes a day would take the average working week at the ATO to 37.5 hours a week and into line with 72 per cent of APS employees covered by 74 other enterprise bargaining agreements.

Labor senator Doug Cameron called out "Work Choices is on its way back" when Mr Bernardi had finished talking. 

15 comments so far

  • APS payrises outpace inflation? I can testify that they absolutely don't. Even if some of the payrises have been nominally above the inflation rate, after tax is taken out they are WELL below it, so what the public servants are pocketing is a shrinking real wage. Another reason for my leaving the APS recently.
    Oh, and Bernardi is a complete twerp.

    Commenter
    Truthy
    Date and time
    June 26, 2014, 12:36PM
  • +1 and it's a bit rich of Bernadi to bitch about PS pay rises but says nothing about his own unjustified pay rises as well. Has anyone noticed the regular absences of senators when the senate is sitting? Why is Bernadi not sitting in the senate on a regular basis? Could he pls justify his regular absences and why he should not get a pay cut for his absences?

    Commenter
    Akari
    Date and time
    June 26, 2014, 1:07PM
  • Mark, like paying them lots of taxpayers dollars is really working to recruit the best into politics. You are either deluded, or a Liberal Party crony, member or IPA staffer who stands to benefit from defending this indefensible behaviour...

    Commenter
    John
    Date and time
    June 26, 2014, 3:21PM
  • No,
    it shows that Canberra is a city with a higher level of professional occupations (that pay higher) and a smaller amount of service or industrial jobs that would pay lower.

    If you compared the pay levels of the central Sydney or Melbourne areas you'd find that those rates were much higher again because of the makeup of the jobs and industries that are based there.

    Nah, lets just use the stat for some more Canberra and public servant bashing.

    Commenter
    Freddie Frog
    Date and time
    June 26, 2014, 12:58PM
  • An EL1 in Canberra would struggle to do what an APS6 would do in Melb or Sydney, especially in terms of people management.
    The public service itself is too highly inflated and bloated in Canberra - think SkyWhale - simply because it is such an uncompetitive labour market. If you need any proof, aside from the APS, you don't see much big industry setting up shop in Canberra now do you?
    The latest cuts are only going to make the Canberra APS even more residual, as those with some talent might well take a redundancy package and move to a real city..

    Commenter
    M
    Date and time
    June 26, 2014, 3:00PM
  • M,
    Then why don't all the APS 6's move from Sydney or Melbourne to Canberra?

    I mean if they are so much better then why wouldn't they take the big bucks on offer in Canberra for easier work.

    Commenter
    Freddie Frog
    Date and time
    June 26, 2014, 8:15PM
  • "True, the APS is an over-paid, bloated bureaucracy..."

    Actually, Australia has one of the smallest and most efficient public services in the world.

    Commenter
    Some cheese with your whine?
    Date and time
    June 26, 2014, 10:31AM
  • Considering that Brenardi just got a 21% rise in his salary this is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

    Commenter
    peteozi
    Date and time
    June 26, 2014, 10:37AM
    • Cory Bernadi - you should be seeking a pay cut for yourself. I don't think the LNP or the PUPs will ever get elected again.

      Commenter
      Sharron
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      June 26, 2014, 10:50AM
      • Where does this windbag get off? As others have mentioned, he's on the best gravy train around. Sadly this clow is Australias answer to the tea party.

        Commenter
        The gall
        Date and time
        June 26, 2014, 11:18AM
        • More comments

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